STARDUST Status Report
20 Apr 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
There were two Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking passes this past week and all subsystems are performing nominally.
The Navigation Camera successfully took another two images with the CCD and mirror motor heaters still on. There has been no change in the good image quality since the last set of pictures last week. The heaters will remain on until approximately May 10.
CIDA continues to observe the interstellar dust stream with an optimal spacecraft attitude when not in communication with the earth.
The recent solar storms have had a minimal impact on the spacecraft's performance. The only evidence was a large number of Star Camera outages during a two hour period. A Star Camera outage occurs when the star image taken cannot provide a valid attitude knowledge update. The longest outage was approximately 20 seconds. The fault protection limit for Star Camera outages is five minutes in All-Stellar attitude determination mode. If no valid images can be obtained in five minutes the on-board fault protection software will request safe mode.
The Principal Investigator, Project Manager and Mission Manager participated in the NASA Discovery Program Retreat where all other Discovery projects. Program status, individual project statuses and lessons learned were discussed. The level of interaction and information exchange between the program and projects was excellent.
The Principal Investigator and Outreach Manager participated in a filming by the Learning Channel in the STARDUST Flight Operation, Recovery and Command Enterprise (FORCE) room at JPL. This will be part of a future program on comets.
For more information on the Stardust mission - the first ever comet sample return mission - please visit the Stardust home page: